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IFPI Announces Large Scale P2P Crackdown
November 15, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Depending your perspective, wave after wave of RIAA and MPAA lawsuits on behalf of their member companies (such as Sony-BMG Music) can actually be seen as a good thing. It's helped bolster the popularity of file-sharing in the United States, and given clients like LimeWire a household name. On the international scene, the P2P promotion campaign has been on the anemic side.

Today however, the IFPI (International Phonographic Federation Industry) today announced a major escalation on their war against file-sharing. In an unprecedented move, the IFPI today announced that over 2,100 individuals were being sued for uploading large quantities of material. Downloaders remain safe from this current campaign. This single action is by far the largest in the history of all P2P lawsuit campaigns - easily dwarfing the RIAA's approximate 750 individuals.

Before today's action, fewer than 1,800 lawsuits have been filed against individual file-traders on the international circuit. Those lawsuits have been confined to only a few countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany. Today's action brings the total number to over 3,800 individuals.

The scope of the IFPI’s actions is also unprecedented. Over 16 countries are involved, including countries that have never witnessed the scorn of the IFPI. This includes Sweden and Switzerland in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia, and the first South American country to see a P2P lawsuit, Argentina.

The IFPI carefully crafted their press release, making sure to directly address the conundrum of attacking their own customers. The IFPI countered this notion by stating the individuals uploading thousands of songs were indeed not their customers, but akin to individuals who steal CDs from a music store.

It also appears that more P2P and file-sharing networks are now under the scrutiny of the IFPI. Typically, P2P lawsuits are generally associated with users of the Kazaa FastTrack client. In this round of lawsuits, almost every major network is represented. According to the IFPI, this new lawsuit campaign includes users from FastTrack, Gnutella, eDonkey2000, DirectConnect, BitTorrent, SoulSeek, and most interestingly, WinMX.

WinMX, as many remember, was temporarily forced offline in late September of 2005. The motivating factor was to discourage file-sharing, however the announcement that users of this network are targeted implies the effort was a failure.

It remains to be seen what the IFPI plans to accomplish with this latest round of lawsuits. Similar actions in the United States have served only to promote the popularity of file-sharing. Making it bigger and louder isn't going to change that.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Entertainment Industry :: IFPI
Legal/Courtroom :: Individual Lawsuits

You can read the IFPI press release here.

You can discuss this article here - 31 replies
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